tv BBC World News WHUT March 21, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is bbc news. reporting live from tabruk in eastern libya. our latest headlines but colonel gaddafi's compound in tripoli is hit overnight in fresh air strikes ahead of the united nations calls on him to comply with u.n. demands. >> authorities to fully comply with the security council resolutions and ended the fighting and killing. >> libyan state television shows pictures of civilians who volunteered to be human shields to stop more bombing. admission by four raf tornado warplanes has been aborted because the civilians were seen in the target area.
i will be bringing you all but very latest on the libya crisis this hour. >> welcome to bbc world news. yemen paucity s paucityl -- yemen's president faces increasing pressure as a top general defects. the japan's nuclear crisis shows no signs of abating. white smoke seen rising from of the number two reactor at fukushima. we are going to go live to libya, back to dan brown in a moment, where there have been a set at night of hitting of compounds. >> hello, and welcome to bbc news from eastern libya.
while correlation war planes have carried out a second night of air strikes against targets throughout libya, including colonel gaddafi's air defenses radar installations. also, tomahawk missiles being fired. one of them, as colonel gaddafi's compound in tripoli, where an administration building was destroyed. several hundred volunteers, civilians, had actually gone to that area to be human shields to try to prevent bombing of that compound. meanwhile, four british raf tornado's flew at a long journey of a witch and the u.k. and decided to abort a because intelligence told them civilians were in the target area. we also know that's a british submarine is in the mediterranean and has been firing tomahawk cruise missiles as part of the military action. more nations are now joining the
coalition, including qatar, the first arab nation involved. that is sending warplanes to join the no-fly zone enforcement. our first report is from our world affairs correspondent, emily buchanan. >> they stayed all night, chanting defiance in spite of the danger. it is thought colonel gaddafi is using ordinary people like this as human shields. nearby is his compound, including his iconic tent. a building there was struck by a cruise missile. the crowd pulled it out of the wreckage. it is not known if anyone was hurt. >> they think it is not their priorities or target to attack -- they know from the media that hundreds of civilians are here in this place, protected, of voluntary human shields. >> in the u.k., a planned attack
from raf tornadoes was called off and airplane's return to base. the spokesman said during the mission further information and merge the that identified civilians in the intended target areas. in cairo at a joint press conference with the u.n. secretary-general, the arab league leader firmed up his support for the military action. he expressed concerns over the bombing because of the threat to civilians. >> we will carry on protecting civilians. and we would like to ask everybody to take this into consideration in any military operation board we had assurances that such operations, protection of civilians, will be the aim of the main objectives. and we are all united along this issue. >> earlier, a few dozen pro- gaddafi demonstrators surrounded the u.n. secretary-general's convoy as it arrived -- just
beside cairo's tahrir square. ban ki-moon is warning of a humanitarian crisis. >> thousands of lives are at stake. we could say a further humanitarian emergency. >> of these were tomahawk cruise missiles launched from u.s. warships. some were fired on sunday from a british submarine. the u.s. government says the bombardment is working to destroy the libyan leader's command and control capabilities, without targeting him directly. >> at this particular point, i can guarantee he is not on a targeting list. >> is there a but to that? >> the rest of that is, if he happens to be in a place, if he is inspecting a surface to ailment -- surface-to-air missile site, we did not have an idea he is they're not. >> western powers have affected
their sights on a range of libyan government targets across the coast. this is the result of around eastern city of benghazi. americans say troops are suffering from isolation and confusion, although benghazi and its defiant population are not yet free from threats. >> tripoli very much the target of last night bombardment. indeed, going to the heart of the gaddafi regime, although as you heard, the americans say although at the moment colonel gaddafi himself is not a target of the bombing runs and the cruise missile strikes. but our correspondent in tripoli it's alan little and i have been asking him for an assessment of tonight's events. >> twice the skies above aaa lift up with a barrage of anti- aircraft fire. trace amounts of one going in red arcs in the night sky. a sustained and heavy, the guns close to us, and therefore close
to the residents of tripoli. when it happens it feels as though the city is under attack. it fills the city with trepidation. then we heard the two or three very loud bangs, one close to was, indeed, and that was the missile that seemed to have hit colonel gaddafi's compound, three or four store -- story building destroyed. a couple of days ago, one day before the missile, myself beside the iconic building colonel gaddafi kept unrepaired since 1986 since it was hit by the american missile, a symbol of defiance. thousands of libyan civilians gathered, all pouring through the gates saying they have come to support their leader and they were prepared to stay there all night and if he were to die they were ready to die with him. i do not think there was any doubt in their insincerity. no sense they were being corralled or coerced. they were genuine heartfelt
supporters of gaddafi. i did not think any of them were there last night when the missile struck, however. but it is an indication of how close the bombing came last night to civilian -- places where civilians are. whether colonel gaddafi himself was there a lot is of course not known. a lot of people over there two days ago were hoping he would turn up and speak to him from -- them from the balcony of the building that was struck in 1986, but hours before the coalition was to start bombing khadafy was not going to announce to the world his whereabouts. >> interesting, this use of -- obviously, talking about the these civilians going to these areas, human shields potentially. that is a difficult development, is in it, for the allies, as they pursue this military campaign, especially with the warnings we have been hearing from the arab league about the absolute need to protect
civilians on all sides. >> yes, because there is a potential to divide international opinion. the term human shield is problematic because it implies coercion, have been taken to military targets against their will. i don't think there was any suggestion of that year. of those people were coming voluntarily and with tremendous enthusiasm. no doubt in that. but nonetheless, if the stated purpose as stated in the resolution is to protect civilian lives from colonel gaddafi, then it would subvert its own purpose if civilians were to be harmed by the allied bombardment. from a humanitarian straightforward reasons -- also for the cohesion of the coalition for world public opinion, it would seem an absolute imperative that civilian casualties should be avoided. >> alan little, our special
correspondent in tripoli with the latest from the libyan capital. in a moment, we will be talking to our correspondent duncan kennedy who is outside one of the air bases in southern italy where coalition -- >> sorry, we lost that line to ben brown for the moment. tabrouk in libya. we will bring up city with the rest of today's news. but we will get more from ben if and when we can. elsewhere, of course, we have had much reaction to events in libya. the arab league secretary general held a press conference in cairo, that his organization is supporting the security council resolution.
>> we have a now -- with a this resolution, especially it actually stressed that there should not be any ground forces of the invasion or occupation of libyan territory. however, the danger facing a great number of civilians in benghazi is another issue. after what has happened -- we are aiming basically to protect civilians. and any circumstances, the protection of civilians is a difficult mission, especially in libya. and according to the reports received by those who are officially in libya, the situation is very serious in libya and it threatens the security and safety of citizens. we will carry on and continue protecting civilians and we would like to ask everyone to take this into consideration in
any military operation. we have assurances that such operations, protection of civilians, will be the aim and main objectives and we are all united on this issue, the arab league and security council. >> speaking a couple of hours ago from cairo with the latest position on the events in libya. you are watching bbc world news. still to come -- japan's of all the nuclear crisis. our correspondent in tokyo. now, vote counting has begun in haiti that a runoff president election. the first round of voting last year was bought -- marred by allegations of fraud that led to violent clashes but observers say sunday that a vote was largely peaceful. preliminary results are expected later this month.
>> at polling stations across haiti, people patiently lined up to cast their ballots. despite concerns about turnout, the numbers were high. this has been an election fraught with problems. last november's vote ended with reports of widespread fraud. there is pressure to get it right this time. >> of voting here in port-au- prince is well under way and certainly at this police station turnout a strong. it seems well organized. plenty of observers to run the place making sure things run smoothly. but whether wins this election will inherit major challenges. across the city, makeshift -- makeshift camps are part of life for more than half a million people. no place to raise a family. she lived here with her four children after the earthquake. she spent six months in squalid conditions.
she told us, this is where her tent used to be. she says one the rains came, they would fill with scorpions. else now has a proper roof over the head. she has been able to leave through donations from friends. families are moving out of the camps. more than half have left. but there is concern about where many are now living. the next president of haiti will inherit a lot of problems. but giving people a safe place to live is perhaps the most pressing. bbc news, port-au-prince, haiti. >> this is abc world news. the headlines. allied bombs hit colonel gaddafi's, an aaa after a second night of air strikes and libya. but u.n. secretary general warns thousands of lives are at stake and it is important to the internet should community speak with one voice.
-- the international community to speak with one voice. bridget kendall. trying to establish a little bit of the international reaction today. first of all, in the region. >> that's right. it a bit of aflutter among the no fly coalition when the head of the arab league to sound as though he was a bit dismayed at the air strikes. although he seems to have clarified his comment saying he does support the u.n. resolution but is still worried about the deaths of civilians. the thing that holds true for a lot of countries. if you look at the arab world. not forget, although the six countries of the gulf council came out quite a few days before the arab league and said they wanted a no-fly zone, when it came to the arab league, there were two countries that voted against it -- syria and algeria. it wasn't unanimous.
there was concern about whether it is just a no-fly zone were going further. >> some might criticize the position, in that you can't have a no-fly zone surely without some casualties. you cannot have one and not the other. >> there is a debate going on among various people saying this country, war in europe, among those countries that support, how far it should go. it but on other issues -- but on the other side, you have some idea of the way things follow because of the vote at the u.n. big countries voted against -- china, india, russia. about concern about civilian casualties and the use of force. russia, yesterday. china also voiced concern. what you would expect, really. at the same time, when you look at some countries, there is also -- you can tell that there's a feeling they did not really like
gaddafi or they feel he has gone too far and they ought to respect the will of the libyan people because this is not just the case of a leader in complete control. clearly in parts of contract -- of the country. clearly everyone has seen he has been turning the military against his own people. turkey is holding a meeting, the president is holding a meeting with the military commanders today. but yesterday at nato he was one of the voices that came out, turkey was, to say he did not want to same nato getting involved in this. at the same time, he called on gaddafi to put in president -- it is someone was respected. african union. on the one hand, south africa as a ploy did -- supported the no- fly zone but it is also one of the country say we need a meeting of the end of the week to discuss this because we did not want civilian casualties. >> officials dealing with the
nuclear emergency in japan say grey smoke is no longer rising from the no. 3 reactor at the focus in the plant. but the situation is ever- changing. we have reports white smoke is rising on the number two reactor. let's get more and speaks to -- we will be speaking to crest. but let us get this report now from john. then engineers working to try to reconnect power to the reactors were vestron after smoke was seen rising from the site. experts are checking to see what is causing the problem. >> gray smoke was observed, according to staff members. as a result, workers were evacuated in order to find out the details of the situation. >> the fire brigade had on thousands of tons of water into the spent fuel storage ponds to cool them. the international atomic energy agency says the situation has improved but remains very serious. radiation in japan that is
cities have not risen above trace levels and have been falling, the people remain cautious. the deafening government just announced the niche and milk produced near the reactors have been banned from entering the food chain -- spanish and milk. >> however, these also are not levels that would immediately harm human health. >> along but coast, the massive task of cleaning is beginning. but the machine. it is dwarfed him by the scale of the task. in one city, a woman and her grandson were found alive after being trapped. on injured but suffering from hypothermia, they were taken to the boy was able to reach food from the family fridge and they were able to live. police estimate, though, 18,000 people have now died following the earthquake. the world bank says rebuilding japan could cost $235 billion.
>> let's go now to chris, our correspondent in tokyo. we have had the changing reports of what is happening at the reactor. bring us up-to-date. >> first of all, the gray or black smoke which lasted about two hours. that finished about 6:00 local time. about 20 minutes later, white smoke started appearing from the number two reactor. officials are making the point that they are still investigating. they have withdrawn the workers as a precaution as the investigations continue. they are also making the point that there is quite a bit of flammable material that remains within the reactor buildings, which not connected to the reactors themselves. it is perfectly possible this is something else apart from the reactors of the spent fuel rods, which is caught fire. but it is really just more
evidence, if we needed it, that this is still a very, very difficult operation. >> we have had some reassurance from the iaea chief, reports saying that this will be dealt with effectively eventually. >> yes, he was saying that have been positive developments the last 48 hours. talking about efforts to reconnect electricity to the reactors, that process continues. not finished yet. once the electricity is connected to all of the reactors, bendix and look into whether they can start -- restart the cooling procedures. he was saying, yes, we have had encouraging news. the fact that radiation levels remain stable, for example. but still regarding it as very serious. it is worth pointing out that so far this evening, what they are saying as radiation levels at the plant have remained stable, before and after a changes seen going into the sky. >> thank you very much, indeed.
a senior yemeni general announced his -- with the protest movement. tanks deployed after the general said he backs the anti- government devastations which of rocked yemen for weeks. at the news came shortly after the president fired his cabinet amidst continuing protest against his rule. at least 45 people were killed after gunmen opened fire on an anti-government rally friday. i am joined online if by editor in chief of "yen post newspaper." how under threat is the president now? >> basically, it is game over for the president. the regime will not last. the most powerful military man in yen and a resigned and joined the revolution, which means that
after he faults, every other military leaders will also resign. keeping saleh all of those close to him and his family. it was made clear to us that there is a sort of understanding -- the president will be forced to resign and leave office, but before he does that there will be a national -- government that will take care of the work while he leaves office in the meantime. >> does this mean that there is a cool, or does it mean that there will be a military government that could lead to more -- something more stable? >> there will not be a military government. the idea that the military now is the power of the revolution, which will force saleh to leave rule and give that what is to the people and start a
parliamentary system where gradually there will be elections in the next week or so. in the presidential palace, informed us and confirmed saleh was accepting -- last night. that is why he fired his entire government yesterday, while waiting for a new government and that will be made up by the opposition for a base two months and saleh during this time, him and his family members. because all he has today is his friends loyal to them. leaving power by nightfall. >> thank you very much, indeed, for that. human-rights watchdog accused syrian authorities of using excessive force and a crackdown on anti-regime protesters there. reports say at least five people died during protests that erupted into violence over the weekend south of damascus.
human rights watch says syria should cease using live fire against protesters. assad sent cabinet ministers to the towns to pay condolences to families of those killed. a series of gas explosions and a mine in pakistan killed at least 21 workers and trapped 30 others. mine officials -- hope was fading because of lack of oxygen. the mine was declared dangerous two weeks ago. bull will accuse china of disrupted it e-mail service -- google accused china of disrupting e-mail service. they say extensive checks revealed problems by government blocked it. clients complained for weeks, difficult excessing their accounts. just to let you know, there is a lot more at the website bbc.com
/news. you can follow the latest events in japan as the situation continues to change at the fukushima nuclear plants. bbc.com/news. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.